NEW ORLEANS – For The Overlook Film Festival co-founder Michael Lerman, horror isn’t just about cheap thrills, it’s “an evolving genre that can be used to tell all kinds of stories”. He notes “horror can lead to one of the purest moviegoing experiences. It’s a genre that exists only to make you feel something, which, at its core, is the basis of cinematic communication.” The Overlook Film Festival was born from this love of horror and the founders’ passion for genre storytelling and interactive and immersive live events.
The Overlook Film festival was originally hosted at The Timberline Lodge, the eerie building that served as the haunted Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s Classic horror film, The Shining. As the film festival grew, both founders quickly realized they would have to find a larger venue for their 4-day celebration of all things horror.
As America’s most haunted city, New Orleans captures the hearts and imaginations of fans and filmmakers alike like no other city. Michael, along with co-founder Landon Zakheim, is thrilled to bring The Overlook Film Festival back to New Orleans in 2022. Hailed as a “summer camp for horror fans”, The Overlook is a site-specific, immersive experience. The Overlook’s interactive content will also be re-imagined in 2022 with COVID-19 safety measures in place. The festival’s signature weekend-long immersive game experience will return, designed by NOLA’s premier escape room experience creators, Escape My Room. The Overlook remains a horror experience like no other. “It’s especially exciting to be back in person after having to shut down because of COVID in 2021. New Orleans is a great place, with good culture, and things are always interesting here. There are so many film organizations here doing good work, and it’s a privilege to bring another piece of culture to such a richly cultured city.”
With its rich history and culture, beautiful landscapes, and awe-inspiring architecture, New Orleans is host to a thriving film industry. The Overlook Film Festival only bolsters the city’s unique film culture. Eager to provide guidance to industry hopefuls, Michael’s advice is to “get involved, and look into internships and volunteering. People always need hands and anything you can do to support them will always be noted, and can be a good way to get your foot in the door.”
As the city continues to slowly open its doors to festivals and visitors, the return of The Overlook, New Orleans’ biggest horror film festival, is especially exciting. Famous for its folklore, practitioners of the mystical arts, haunted mansions, and restless spirits, New Orleans is the perfect forever home for The Overlook Film Festival.
The city of New Orleans continues working on making a full recovery from the devastating effects caused by Hurricane Ida in August 2021. This year’s festival is dedicated to giving back to its adopted city, donating a portion of festival pass and ticket sales to the Hurricane Ida Relief and Recovery Fund, a project from the Mutual Aid Response Network led by Imagine Water Works.
Festival passes are on sale now. To purchase passes and find more information about The Overlook Film Festival, visit www.overlookfilmfest.com.